Question for the British people

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by darksithpro, Jun 21, 2017.

  1. darksithpro, Jun 21, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2017

    darksithpro macrumors regular

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    #1
    Just curious, as I have not seen enough news articles, or data. This question pertains to the House of Lords and the head of the monarchy. Is THOL more of a symbolic house, or does it actually have some power. If parliament passes something and the House of Lords disagrees with it, what happens? Also, with the Queen. Does she have any influence over the Prime Minsters decisions, or is she also there for mostly symbolic fashion as well?
     
  2. cfedu macrumors 65816

    cfedu

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    #2
    It has power but that power has reduced over time. It's main function is to review bills but can also introduce certain types of legislation (non money/taxation bills). The house can stall legislation but can't kill it, they will usually ask for amendments or other changes.

    The queen is more symbolic but she could in theory refuse to give a bill royal assent, without that it dies.
     
  3. darksithpro thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3

    So, does that mean if the Queen of England strongly disagrees with a policy of the Prime Minister that could have consequences and possibly change the outcome?
     
  4. cfedu macrumors 65816

    cfedu

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    #4
    This power has not been used in 300 years, I don't think it would be used unless it was an extremely unpopular bill or very dangerous. If the government is unpopular and so is the bill, there would be less risk to the crown to refuse royal assent. If the measure is popular with the public, the sovereign will not risk a constitutional confrontation as they could always sent the monarch packing.
     
  5. chown33 macrumors 604

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    #5
    The play / film / TV show "King Charles III" looks at this very question. Tim Pigott-Smith plays the eponymous lead, and gives a stellar performance. I saw the TV version on PBS a few weeks back. It's worth seeing, not just for the tragedic tale, but the performances, and the rhythm of the verse gives it an odd dreamlike quality.
     
  6. cfedu macrumors 65816

    cfedu

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    #6
    Sounds good, I will take a look.
     
  7. weckart macrumors 68040

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    #7
    If the House of Lords stalls bills for long enough, either deliberately or through interference from the House of Commons then depending upon the lifetime of the government and its other plans, a bill can be more or less killed. Currently, there is no Conservative majority in the HoL to force bills through there.

    One example, where amendments in the HoC led the HoL to push back a bill being discussed there and killed it due to time constraints.

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/457246/EU-Referendum-Bill-killed-off-in-the-House-of-Lords
     
  8. shinji macrumors 65816

    shinji

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    #8
    Do you guys think the House of Lords should be replaced by an elected chamber?
     
  9. sim667 macrumors 65816

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    #9
    I have mixed views on the House of Lords, day to day, they're pointless, but occasionally they do stand up to the Government.
     
  10. weckart macrumors 68040

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    #10
    You would end up with two Houses of Commons then, unless they did something fundamental to shake up the composition in the upper house.
     
  11. shinji macrumors 65816

    shinji

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    #11
    I realize that, but do you support its existence now, with the current system? I'm just curious how much people actually care about a chamber of Parliament that isn't elected by the people.
     
  12. reefoid macrumors regular

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    #12
    I think most people think the HoL should be reformed. Frankly its ridiculous that in the 21st century an unelected chamber can effectively kill legislation.

    I'd like to see a phased transition. No more appointed peers. Once the number of peers reduces naturally to an acceptable number (its currently 800) then elected members should be brought in as lifetime peers die or retire, maybe one per parliamentary constituency. Give them 8 year terms so they cover more than one government cycle.

    Of course, reform has been talked about for many years but it needs the approval of the HoL, a bit like turkeys voting for Christmas.
     
  13. VulchR macrumors 68020

    VulchR

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    #13
    I tend to agree, but then again they have stopped some of the more outrageous legislation that the House of Commons proposed and then later reconsidered.
     
  14. weckart macrumors 68040

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    #14
    There are pluses. Those who are not dependent upon the vagaries of the ballot box are less inclined towards populism and will make the right decision rather than the expedient one. Many also refuse their party's whip and vote on issues rather than than follow manifestos blindly.

    It is not as if the HoC is particularly democratic given the FPTP system, often delivering thumping majorities to minority shares of the vote.
     
  15. zin macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Abolishing/reforming the House of Lords has been on the agenda for decades. Nobody has managed it yet.
     
  16. unlinked macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    Was it not reformed significantly relatively recently (by the scale of things of its age)?
    I guess by now that is probably 20 years ago.
     
  17. cfedu macrumors 65816

    cfedu

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    #17
    Like the Canadian senate, I think the HOL has its benefits being unelected. You don't have to worry about making a decision for the wrong reason. With an elected upper chamber, I think that the Westminster style Parliament will become more like the disfunctional American system.


    I would agree with some reform, but not to the point where it makes Parliament disfunctional.
     
  18. zin macrumors 6502

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    #18
    Tony Blair's administration removed inherited seats in the House of Lords, but that's about it. Both houses voted on proposals for a fully elected/appointed or a hybrid upper house shortly after. Neither house managed to support any of the options (apart from the HOL supporting its current status of 100% appointed). Reform has been in limbo ever since...
     
  19. weckart macrumors 68040

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    #19
    There are still 92 hereditary peers although these are all elected by the HoL.
     

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